The world is a multilingual place. Increasingly, it is filled with multilingual people. And dang it, they just keep becoming more multilingual all the time. Plenty of Europeans speak more than two languages, and a couple of North Americans do, too.
But this florescent multilingualism isn’t your grandfather’s old “two languages and a spare”. No, as the richness of humans’ relationships to one another (and to the entire created order) continues to entwickeln, new varieties of multilingualism are constantly arising. No longer can the simple term polyglot be expected to represent the full diversity of human linguistic competence.
Unfortunately, English vocabulary (unlike Eskimo vocabulary), hasn’t even made a pretense of keeping up. Each and every day a new form of super-
As a public service, we at SpecGram are pleased to offer the barest smattering of terms, which may serve to describe some of the many new types of multilingual persons. This typology is based, of course, not only on our own experiences, but also on the linguistic behavior of people known personally to us. Therefore, we assure our readers that each and every one of these terms is sorely needed in English; memorize them all now, because danged if you won’t need one just about as soon as you meet a new person at the colloquium tomorrow!
Part II is presented below.
Pottyglot: One who can inquire where one might powder one’s nose in several languages.
Poorlyglot: One who can whinge on about headaches, stiff joints, etc., in a variety of languages.
Paraglot: A speaker adept at facial expressions, gestures, and other movements in a range of body languages.
Pulleyglot: One who can operate basic industrial machinery in several working-
Pallyglot: One who greets strangers in a friendly manner using phrases from many languages.
Pillowglot: One who can engage in multilingual pillow talk.
Piffleglot: One who can dismiss disdainfully and tutt in several languages.
Bullyglot: One who, whatever language you speak, is gonna steal your packed lunch at break time.
The Three Billy Glots Gruff: A trio of caprine beings who excel at outwitting bridge-
Golly(gosh)glot: An alternative form of the above.
Holyglot: One who can deliver a multilingual liturgy.
Hollyglot1: A speaker of Druidic language.
Hollyglot2: One who speaks with a mouthful of prickly evergreen leaves.
Dollyglot: A multilingual Barbie (she’s a UN translator!).
Poleglot: An expert on Slavic languages.
Polythought: One who can think several things at once.
Polyhedraglot: One who knows the names of the Platonic solids in many languages.
Polypglot: A many-
Polkaglot: One who can say “oom-
Phillyglot: Yo, if youse want to get some wooder ice, I know a guy. Go Iggles!
Polygraphyglot: A speaker who can lie convincingly in many languages.
Polytheoglot: A speaker who knows many names for God.
Polysyllaboglot: A sesquipedalian.
Polygamyglot: One who can speak of many marriages in many languages.
Polygonglot: A speaker whose lines of argument seem straight, but make abrupt changes in direction, and eventually go nowhere.
Polytopeglot: A polygonglot in more than two dimensions.
Polyphonyglot1: One who enjoys multilingual choral music.
Polyphonyglot2: One who can discuss Renaissance music in many languages.
Pologlot: A fluent speaker of the jargon of games played on horseback.
Ponyglot: A horse whisperer.
Polityglot: One who knows the proper terminology for various administrative regions.
Potglot: One who specializes in an exact study of the color terms used for cookware.
Polyglutton: One who studies languages greedily.